I need help identifying a book.

  • It centered around a magician.
  • The book was fairly short (Under 200 pages or a little over if I remember).
  • I remember the magic system was original.
  • The cover has green on it, and a picture of a Rapunzel like tower on it.
  • It was from the 70s or 80s. I know I read it in the 80s.
  • I cannot remember if it involved a school of magicians?
  • I think the book started with the mage traveling on a horse or that was part of the cover?
  • It was a stand alone book not part of a trilogy.

That is all I can remember.

  • 3
    In what way was the system of magic "original"? How old was the main character? What was gender/ethnicity? Was it a sword/sorcery setting, medieval, modern, etc? What actually happened in the story??
    – Valorum
    May 29, 2016 at 13:12
  • I am busy looking.... might take a while as there is very little to go on. Can you remember a name (character or otherwise) or something more about the cover?
    – Rincewind
    May 29, 2016 at 14:22
  • Are you sure it was a stand alone novel?
    – Rincewind
    May 29, 2016 at 15:04
  • I have been looking for a while and still can't find it :/ This is one tough book to find!
    – Rincewind
    Jun 26, 2016 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


The description of the cover sounds like it might be Six of Swords by Carole Nelson Douglas. I'm not sure if all the other criteria fit since it has been a long time since I read the book.

Cover of Six of Swords

  • I've added a cover image, but note the book is 276 pages and is part of a five-book series, not a stand-alone novel.
    – DavidW
    Dec 3, 2019 at 15:19

Maybe The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett?
It does not fit completely the OP's description, but it does fit many of the points: it is centered around a magician, the book is fairly short, the magic system is original, it was written in 1983, there is a school of magicians, the wizard walked in a horse...
It is not a standalone book,as the OP indicates and MeatTrademark points out, but the second book ("The Light Fantastic") was published 3 years later, so if the OP read it between 1983 and 1986, it was a stand alone book. As stated in the comments, the biggest issue with this being the correct answer is the difference between the OP's description of the cover of the mistery book and Rincewind's cover of The Colour of Magic

  • 1
    Can you explain why you think that this book fits?
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 29, 2016 at 14:20
  • 1
    I rather doubt it... The Colour of Magic does not fit the description at all!
    – Rincewind
    May 29, 2016 at 14:23
  • 1
    @ハーノ but the cover was not green and contained no towers... and it did not start with or have a horse on the cover.
    – Rincewind
    May 29, 2016 at 15:07
  • 1
    @ハーノ Given there are 41 novels in the series, at the time of this question (not counting short stories), I still think I my point is valid. It's not some obscure thing. The disc-shaped world isn't kept secret in the novel. Elephants? A turtle? It may turn out you're right, but those are some important elements to forget. May 29, 2016 at 15:16
  • @Rincewind: You are right - the issue with the cover disqualifies the answer I suggested.
    – user66822
    May 29, 2016 at 15:56

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